WriterDave

WriterDave
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Writing can be many things to many people. For me, it is a way of expression and understanding. Reviewing films, hopefully helps myself and others better understand and get more out of the film.
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Recent pages by WriterDave

The world of splashy, big budget musicals is pretty much a thing of the past, although Hollywood seems be trying to revive the genre. Modern directors like Baz Luhrmann and Rob Marshall have taken cinematic tries at it. The musical is very much still part of the Broadway world fortuna...
Terry Gilliam's perfectionism has meant that his films are usually works of art, but also that some have never been finished (his film about Don Quixote, for example). Gilliam as an artist makes films that are at once visionary and darkly sardonic. "The Fisher King," "Brazil," "Twelve...
Bergman's films are experiences in and of themselves. Bergman was quite adept at genre switching, and dabbled in comedy, mystery, Greek chorus-like interplays, morality tales, as well as existentialism, and philosophical musings. He was most skilled, however, in the art of drama. His ...
The quintessential swashbuckling film was not made in the new millennium, nor was it made 20 years ago, nor even 50. The movie that attains this rather debatable (admittedly) credit, was made nearly 80 years ago! Impossible? Read on.
Bergman segued a bit out of the realm of existentialism, as he was wont to do in the 1950's, into a more grounded drama in the 1960's and 70's. "The Passion of Anna" illustrates this shift into films more about relationships, especially those between male and female. This period in hi...
TV movies are ubiquitous; some better than others, of course. With great actors like Hume Cronyn and Vincent Gardenia, however, chances are that television just got a lot better. This isn't exactly "Cocoon" but it does have the same sort of spirit and joie de vivre that wowed audience...
Ingmar Bergman was clearly a deep thinker, a humanist, a believer in art and its effect on an audience. With "Shame" he poses a fictional, hypothetical war, places two characters in the midst of it, and shows the dehumanizing influences war imparts on them. His love of Strindberg is r...
Errol Flynn's movie roles somewhat paralleled his own stormy, rather short life. Flynn was just as charming, well-liked, and debonair as many of his characters on-screen. Even today, when one thinks of 'Robin Hood' it is rarely Kevin Costner who comes to mind, rather the iconic Flynn ...
Ingmar Bergman, who has been discussed ad infinitum, was a major influence on Scandinavian as well as world cinema. His films are extremely personal, reflective, and monumentally pensive. To say a Bergman film is "thought-provoking" is an understatement.
Silent film is worthy of attention and surprisingly current in its themes, stories, and relevance. "The Artist" proved that a silent film could still garner critical acclaim and audience's praise. Many actors that went on to stellar careers in the 1930's and 40's, started out in the s...
An actor like Fred MacMurray, most associated with the lovable armchair father in TV's, "My Three Sons," was in a number of brilliant Film Noir classics. Thus, it can be said that our notions of what an actor can accomplish is often redefined when we look back at their earlier films. ...
Louise Brooks was more than a silent film star of the 1920's, she was a phenomenon. Her look, character, feisty personality, and multidimensional screen persona was a force to behold. Even today, watching one of her films is nothing less than an 'experience.' Ironically, her iconic lo...
Charlie Chaplin was born in England nearly a century and a quarter ago. Yet, his films influenced nearly every comedian that has ever tread the boards, enlightened the silver screen, or made a television audience laugh. Along with such classic comedians as Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd,...
Francois Truffaut tackled almost every movie genre: romance, drama, suspense, comedy, family film, thriller, noir. In the element of the war drama, he decided to look at a small part of World War II, instead of a larger part. In this way, he tells a specific story which ultimately is ...
There are a plethora of Parisian stories; from the classic "L'Atalante" to "Amelie"; in every genre and every decade of the last 100 years. Some tales can be unique, all the while paying respect to specific earlier film makers.
Sarah Polley wanted to show the city of Toronto, which is thought of as a snowy land to be sure, in a different light. Here she dreamily unveils the city in the ecstasy's of summer. Heat and light cast exuberant colors on character's faces. It is an altogether unique and romanticized ...
One could get lost in the potpourri of animated films released each each year. There seems to be a kind of renaissance in animation going on these days; from Japanese Anime to Pixar big studio epics to motion-capture inspired projects, it's all out there. The quality and majesty of an...
Once again, we examine Ingmar Bergman, one the film's greatest directors. This time around, Bergman questions the nature of faith and religion. Bergman opted out of an intricate plot, and decided to make this primarily a serious character study. Bergman also seems to be in his most di...
Hayley Mills has been acting all her life. Her films range from comedy to drama, but she is best known for her "family comedies" of the 1960's. Mills is almost an icon of the live action Disney-type genre and her films remain highly entertaining.
New Zealand has become a great place to make movies thanks in part to its exotic locales and the popularity of "Lord of the Rings" director, Peter Jackson. Lest we not forget however, that Jane Campion also hails from said country, and has a decidedly different approach to film making...
First films for actors are usually one's they would rather forget. This usually isn't any reflection upon the actor himself, only an illustration of how difficult it is to be a successful movie actor in the first place. Every so often, however, an actor gets a chance to shine in his/h...
Japanese animation has its own avid following. Many of the movies in this genre are little more than science fiction cartoons. There are films and film makers, however, that transcend the bubble gum qualities of this genre and take it to a higher level. When this is done, the experien...
The smaller budgeted films are often worth one's attention, simply because they rely on story to put the movie across rather than razzle-dazzle. Films don't have to be brand new, either, to be worth seeing. Watching a film that is ten, twenty or even fifty years old can be an educatio...
Biopics are a popular subject in Hollywood, probably because "life often imitates art" as the familiar quote goes. Biopics that star Meryl Streep are not to be missed. Her knack for sincere portrayals of figures tragic, complex or otherwise, is almost without equal.
Wim Wender's semi-recent documentary "Pina" is a treat for the eyes; with dancers enacting their art round the globe. Wender's, who has a soft spot for musicians, also proved his adeptness on this subject with 1999's "Buena Vista Social Club." Wender's "Lisbon Story" attempts to show ...
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